How to Search Handwritten Words in Notes with iOS 11 on iPhone or iPad

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you enjoy handwriting notes on your device, it’s essential to be able to find what you’re looking for within those notes later on. Previous iterations of the Notes app only allowed you to search for words that were typed. But with iOS 11, the Notes app is capable of searching through your handwritten notes as well. Here’s how to search handwritten words in Notes with iOS 11 on iPhone or iPad.

Related: How to Remove a Lock from Notes on iPhone

How to Search Handwritten Words in Notes

  • Open the Notes app.
  • If you’ve never created a handwritten note before, it’s as simple as drawing in Notes. Select the Marker icon and write as you would on paper. See an example below.
  • From the original screen with a list of your notes, swipe down until you see the Search bar at the top.
  • Search for words found within your handwritten notes.
  • It will appear within your search results.
  • If you aren't seeing your note, it’s possible Notes isn’t recognizing what you wrote. For example, I wrote “hand-written” in one Note and tried to search for "handwritten," which didn't work.
Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.